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Sobornost

Sobornost'. A Russian word derived from the Slavonic soborny, which translates ‘catholic’ in the creed, and related to the word for a council (sobor). Its etymological root is the verb sbrat', ‘to gather together’, and since its use in Khomiakov's The One Church (1850), the term, understood to mean ‘togetherness’, has been used to characterize the Orthodox understanding of the unity of the Church, an organic unity of free persons brought about by the Holy Spirit, in contrast to the authoritarianism of Roman Catholicism and the individualism of Protestantism.

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